|Tuesday, January 25, 2000,
march on empty stomachs
CHANDIGARH, Jan 24 Today was the third day of the dress-rehearsal for school students who will participate in the Republic Day celebrations at Parade Ground in Sector 17 here. While the final day promises to be a spectacular show comprising march past by Guides, Scouts and the NSS boys and girls, besides a colourful cultural programme, the dress rehearsal for most of these students means sweating it out in the field from 8 am to 1 pm without any decent refreshment.
In all, 20 schools of the city are participating in the Republic Day parade and four in the cultural programme. Students of the four private schools were seen complaining of a lack of refreshments during the rehearsals. However, according to reports, each student government schools was given refreshments worth Rs 2. The present refreshment fund in the government schools is Rs 2 per child per day.
Meanwhile, an official in the UT Education Department said today that the children were "probably" being provided with "refreshments of their choice like a banana and a soft-drink daily". The official also said it was not out of the refreshment fund but out of the PTA fund that the schools were providing the children with eatables.
However, children at Parade Ground today said they received no refreshments. Even some teachers and principals complained that only water was being given to the children. A parent who talked to the TNS said, "Our children spend so many hours practicing for the Republic Day, only to come back home tired and hungry, with nobody to see if they have eaten anything during all that time."
Instead of snacks and nutrition, children could be seen buying cut fruits, bhelpuri and chaat. Even a doctor could not be seen there today, though an official said it had been decided beforehand to have a doctor present at the field on all three days of rehearsals.
There are four schools in the Guides' march-past, three in the Scouts' march past, four in the NSS march past and seven in the general march past. Also, a school would also present a show on road safety and another on the ambulance brigade. The cultural programme would include a lazium dance, bhangra, a Vande Matram dance and a patriotic group song.
An item of a Sector 32 convent school was shown the door because not only the school was not ready with it, but had also insisted on the show being presented two days later, on Republic Day itself.
arrangements for R-Day
CHANDIGARH, Jan 24 The police has made elaborate arrangements for the Republic Day celebrations at the Sector 17 parade ground and for the At Home function in Punjab Raj Bhavan on January 26.
According to the traffic police, the road stretch from the Sector 16\17\22\23 roundabout to the Sector 22 petrol pump on the Udyog Path and from the crossing Sector 16\17 up to the Sector 16\17\22\23 on the Jan Marg and from the light point from Lyons Restaurant to the parade ground will remain closed to the general public from 7 a.m. till the function is over.
No parking would be allowed in the parking area in front of the Sector 22-A market from 7 a.m. till the function concludes.
The VIPs and other officers with authorised parking labels will be allowed entry from the roundabout of the Sector 16\17\22\23 on Udyog Path and they can park their vehicles of the Sector 22-A parking.
The general public can park vehicles in the parking area of Sector 22-B, adjacent to the Sector 23 Blood Diseases Hospital, the parking area behind Neelam Cinema, the Football stadium and the Circus ground in Sector 17.
All buses coming to the ISBT will be diverted from the Bajwara roundabout and the Piccadily roundabout via Himalaya Marg.
For the Punjab Raj Bhavan function, the road from the roundabout of Sector 5\6\7\8 up to the T point near the Golf Club, from the T point near the Raj Bhavan towards the residence of the Adviser to the Administrator, shall remain closed to the general public from 2 p.m. onwards till the function is over.
Invitees to the function with pink parking labels will park their vehicles in the parking area at ground at the back of the Advisers residence.
However, passengers shall be allowed to alight in front of the entry of the Raj Bhavan.
Self driven cars of senior citizens with pink parking labels shall be allowed in the parking area towards the mini-zoo, adjoining the Raj Bhavan.
Invitees with green
parking labels should use the road from the Sector 7\8
and park their vehicles in the ground adjacent to the
Advisers residence in Sector 7.Members of the Golf
Club should use the road coming from the SGGS College,
Sector 26, towards the club from 2 p.m. till the function
is over, the police said.
for war widows, disabled
CHANDIGARH, Jan 24 The Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) will launch a special housing scheme for war widows, widows of defence personnel, paramilitary and police personnel killed in counter-terrorist operations and counter-insurgency operations, and widows of victims of terrorists.
Persons who have suffered 50 percent or more disability in war, counter-insurgency and counter-terrorist operations anywhere in the country will also be covered under the scheme, according to sources.
As many as 109 flats of various categories will be available in the discretionary quota of the UT Administrator under the scheme, which opens on January 27. It will remain open till February 25.
While 14 EWS dwelling units will be available in Maloya, 24 LIG flats will be available in West of Sector 38, and 38 MIG flats, including one in Sector 45, 8 in Sector 61 and 29 in West of Sector 38, will be allotted.
Similarly, 11 and 9 flats in HIG (lower) and HIG (upper) categories, respectively, will be available in the West of Sector 38. There will be 13 HIG (independent) dwelling units under the scheme.
Sources say while EWS and LIG flats will be allotted on hire-purchase basis, with allottee having to pay 40 percent of the chargeable price before the possession, MIG allottees will be required to pay 60 percent of the amount on self-finance basis.
The successful HIG (L) and HIG (U) allottees will be required to pay 70 percent before possession under the self-finance basis, while HIG (I) allottees will have to pay 80 percent before possession.
An amount of Rs 5,000 will have to be deposited by EWS applicants by way of earnest money, and Rs 11,000 and Rs 30,000, respectively, will be earnest money for LIG and MIG applicants.
of advisory panel held up
CHANDIGARH, Jan 24 The reconstitution of the Home Minister's Advisory Committee for the Union Territory of Chandigarh has been held up for almost a year because of a technical hitch.
Under the guidelines circulated by the Ministry of Home Affairs, five of the members of the committee are to be nominated from amongst members of the Zila Parishad.
In Chandigarh, the constitution of the Zila Parishad has been held up for the past some years. Though the Administration issued a notification, partially constituting the Zila Parishad, this representative body is yet to take a formal shape and become functional because of some legalities.
It was in 1996 that the Administration reconstituted most of its advisory committees for terms varying between one year and three years. Most of these advisory committees have already outlived their terms without holding even the specified or mandatory number of meetings.
Though the Administrator's Advisory Council still exists, it has not held any meeting for the past almost one year. This committee is widely represented by nominees from the local units of almost all political parties, besides having some eminent citizens as its members. The last time it met was before the close of the last financial year in 1999. Since then there has been complete overhauling of the top administrative machinery with a change in local member of Parliament also.
The Home Minister's Advisory Committee, which was once reconstituted in 1996, also held one or two meetings only before it ran out of its term. Even earlier, this committee has remained most erratic as it remained in disarray for a long time.
One of the technical problems facing the Administration is its not being able to constitute the Zila Parishad is the absence of the State Election Commission. Both New Delhi and Chandigarh have a common State Election Commission. At the time of declaration of results of Zila Parishad poll after a protracted litigation, the Administration conveyed the name of one of the members wrongly to the State Election Commission which notified it.
The Administration has
now gone back to the State Election Commission to notify
the corrected name. But since the State Election
Commission is to be reconstituted, this notification has
been held up, thus holding the entire process of
constitution of the Zila Parishad and subsequent
nomination of the Zila Parishad members on the Home
Minister's Advisory Committee.
counter put off
CHANDIGARH, Jan 24 After hanging fire for almost three years, the opening of a railway ticket reservation counter in this township has been put into cold storage. In a meeting with the Haryana Government over the last weekend, the Railway authorities have not accepted the stiff terms and conditions put forward by the former.
The Haryana authorities reportedly asked the railways to pay between Rs 50 and Rs 60 lakh for a Shop-Cum-Office in Sector 8. The plea of the Haryana Government is that the property is owned by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) , which is a commercial organisation. Thus the payment is necessary. Officials of the Haryana Government further pointed out that the railways was a commercial organisation. Therefore the payment clause was added.
On the other hand , in the opinion of the railways, the new reservation office is for the benefit of Panchkula, Chandi Mandir and Surajpur residents and the state government should pitch in. In Chandigarh , where property prices are more than those in Panchkula, the Railways have opened its main booking office in the ISBT for a token lease money of Re 1.
The project for Panchkula had been sanctioned by the Union Railway Ministry to facilitate a new counter. Railway authorities at the Ambala Railway Division are reportedly preparing a note for their higher-ups, saying the railways does not require more than a big hall and paying so much for an entire building is not required. Railway authorities have told the Haryana Government that the Railways is not a commercial organisation as it had no way to fund the new building. Railways may even ask the Haryana Government to allot a small plot to build its own site as per its own requirement and specifications.
The project has been delayed several times, each time due to hurdles created by the powers that be. A couple of years ago, a site at the Panchkula Bus Stand was earmarked for the reservation counter. One hiccup after another prevented the facility from starting. Even then, the Haryana Government had asked for money, that was turned down by the Railways. The proposal was revived and the new site in Sector 8 was earmarked but not handed over.
A final agreement between the two parties was to be signed before the Railways was to take over the place. The Railways is also preparing to start the counter, work for which has been sanctioned by the ministry.
On lines of a
reservation counter in Panchkula, the Punjab authorities
have sought a reservation counter in SAS Nagar. The
railway authorities are also keen for the same as it will
reduce the rush at the main booking counter at the
Inter-State Bus Terminus, Sector 17.
Strike by powermen total
CHANDIGARH, Jan 24 A complete strike was observed by members of the UT Powermen Union here today, the call for which had been given by the Electricity Employees Federation of India, All-India Electricity Employees Federation, and the All-India Power Engineers Federation in support of the agitating employees of the Uttar Pradesh State Electricity Board (UPSEB) and also against the privatisation policy of the Union and UP Government.
Powermen did not attend to their duties since midnight and also no complaint or maintenance work was undertaken. Even the collection centres remained closed today.
Members of the UT Powermen Union also organised a big rally outside the Sector 18-A electricity sub-office where various leaders, including Mr Bhag Mal Rana, Mr Kasturi Lal, Mr Saroop Singh, Mr Sarup Dutt Joshi, Mr Pardeep Kumar, Mr Sajjan Singh, Mr Inderjit Singh Grewal, Mr Chandersekhar and others assailed the Central Government and the Uttar Pradesh Government for their policy of privatising the power sector.
The speakers held that the government was going in for privatisation at the instance of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and other such organisations which were out to destroy the Indian economy and make it dependant upon the Western world. These policies benefit multinationals and big industrialists. They also assailed the state electricity boards and the UT Engineering Department for failing to take any action against the growing incidents of power pilferage and theft.
The leaders wanted that the privatisation move should be withdrawn immediately and the arrested employees of the UPSEB should be released immediately.
SAS NAGAR: Following the one-day strike call given by the Council of Junior Engineers of the Punjab State Electricity Board in support of the agitating employees of the Uttar Pradesh State Electricity Board (UPSEB), employees of different wings of the board in the Ropar circle today struck work. Employees under the banner of the struggle committee of the PSEB employees sat on a dharna in front of the 66 KV sub-station in Phase 1 here.
Mr K.I.S. Mann, President of the Ropar circle of the PSEB Ministerial Staff Union, said over 500 board employees from the Ropar circle participated in the strike. Sources in the board said due to some breakdown at the Phase 1 sub-station, power supply to some parts of the township was affected for a few hours.
A number of consumers visiting the bill collection centres and complaint centres had to return without getting their work done.
KHARAR (FOC): A complete strike was observed by employees of the Punjab State Electricity Board in Kharar and surrounding areas. According to a press note issued here on Monday by Mr Gurdial Singh Bhangal, President, Technical Services Union, division Morinda, the strike was complete in all offices under the Morinda division comprising Morinda City, Kharar City, Majra, Kurali Gharuan, etc. He claimed that no employee was present in the offices. Employees arranged rallies outside their offices which were addressed by various union leaders who extended their full support to the striking employees of the UPSEB.
DERA BASSI (FOC): Members of the Action Committee of the Punjab State Electricity Board on Monday observed a strike in this subdivision. Members of the union staged dharnas at different subdivisions of the PSEB in support of the striking Uttar Pradesh State Electricity Board workers.
paid to Lt Sandhu
CHANDIGARH, Jan 24 St John's High School, Sector 26, today organised a commemorative function to pay tributes to late Lieut Rajeev Sandhu, MVC, who had laid down his life for the country during the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) operations in Sri Lanka on July 19, 1988.
The Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), presided over the function held on the school premises, who, while paying his tributes to Lieutenant Sandhu, called upon the students to opt for a career in the armed forces. He added that the nation, the city and also the school, of which he was a student, were proud of him. Later, the Governor laid a wreath on the photograph of Lieutenant Rajeev Sandhu.
Also present on this occasion was Sub Bhagirath Sharma who fought with Lieutenant Sandhu and recalled his final moments in Sri Lanka. The students of St John's School presented a patriotic song and enacted a dance on the tune of Vande Mataram.
police inaction irks family
PANCHKULA, Jan 24 Subedar Kamal Singha of Sector 7 is upset over his 23-year-old daughter's disappearance after she allegedly got married to an employee of a private mill in Baddi. The girl's family later found that the man was already married. He was back in town and contended that he did not know her.
In a complaint with the Superintendent of Police, he alleged that his daughter was lured by an acquaintance and had not returned since January 5, though the acquaintance was back. The father said the police had failed to register a case against the accused.
In his complaint, he alleged that his daughter grew friendly with an employee of a private mill at Baddi and had expressed her desire to marry him. When her parents tried to enquire about the man, she tried to dodge the interrogation and put off the enquiry till the two were married, stating that they would be introduced to him after the marriage.
On December 26, her parents found her wearing a mangal sutra which was gifted to her by the accused. Following this, her parents rebuked her and warned her against meeting the man till his antecedents were verified. From then on till January 4, tension between the two kept mounting and the accused was the cause of arguments.
Mr Singha added that on January 2, their daughter informed them that the accused was taking her away the next day. Her father advised her against going with him and she agreed. She repeated that she was going away with the accused on January 4.
Keeping strict vigil over her activities, her mother entrusted her brother with the task of taking her to the private firm she was working in and get her back. On January 4, when her brother went to take her, he found her leaving with somebody on a two-wheeler and chased them. She got off the scooter and got away in a white Maruti car (CH-01-N-8840) around 6 pm. Since then there has been no news of her.
The parents furnished details of the accused to the police and a copy of the letter written by the girl. It said that she she was leaving the house to get married to the accused and that she would get in touch with her family either by telephone or letter. The letter was found from the girl's suitcase after she left.
On January 5, the family contacted the accused, who refused having anything to do with their daughter. This left the family with no information about their daughter. They are irked at the complacent attitude of the police, which has not only failed to take serious note of their complaint, but has ignored the details provided by them.
"They have not even tried to find out to whom the car belongs. Though the accused is in town, the police has not questioned him. The letter states that my daughter has gone with him. It has been nearly 10 days since I gave my complaint but no action has been taken," Mr Singha says.
CHANDIGARH, Jan 24 The police has registered a case against a resident of Colony No 4 on the charge of attempting to outrage the modesty of a resident of the same colony.
According to police sources, Mrs Jahru Nisha reported that Kider Chauhan attempted to outrage her modesty. A case under Sections 354 dand 509, IPC, has been registered.
Trespass charge: The police has arrested four persons for trespassing the house of a Bapu Dham Colony resident. Mr Sher Singh lodged a complaint that the accused, Raja, Dharam Pal, Nana Billa and Tatia Swamy, forcibly entered his house and tried to snatch the gold chain of his wife.
A case under Sections 356, 380, 457 and 34, IPC, has been registered.
Held with whisky: The police has arrested two persons from various parts of the city and seized 84 pouches of whisky from them.
While Ram Bali was arrested from near the Sector 45-46 barrier, Parkash was arrested from the Sector 25 colony. As many as 43 and 41 pouches of liquor were seized from them, respectively.
Cases under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act have been registered against them.
SBI facilities for NRIs
CHANDIGARH, Jan 24 More than 50 Non-Resident Indians from the USA, England, Canada, Australia and other countries participated in an unusual NRI meet organised by the Sector 17-B NRI branch of State Bank of India at Aroma Hotel here this morning. Mr D.L. Manwani, General Manager, inaugurated the meet and launched the Multi-Option Deposit Scheme (MODS) for the participants on the occasion. The scheme offers flexibility, convenience, easy liquidity and high returns. Mr Manwani shared with NRIs, the commitment of State Bank to provide prompt, personalised services to its clients and wanted free and frank feedback.
Mr Manwani talked about the new services introduced by the bank, including e-mail, Internet and swift services.Mr G.C. Lakhanpal, Assistant General Manager, highlighted the latest products offered by the bank.
The NRIs on the other hand wanted some counselling services to be made more extensive.
They also wanted to know about the conversion rate, provision of transfer of money from one account to another and also from one bank to another and other problems faced by them.
Mr K.K. Mehra, Deputy General Manager, assured the NRIs that all their relevant suggestions would be implemented and efforts would be made to meet their requirements.
Mr C.L. Sethi, Assistant General Manager, earlier welcomed the NRIs and invited them to have a free, frank exchange of ideas with bank officials.
CHANDIGARH, Jan 24 Bharat Petroleum, a Government of India undertaking, has launched a unique programme to celebrate the silver jubilee of its operations in the country.
The special programme
"Taqdeer ka badshah" launched at
BP-21, the country's highest selling petrol outlet,
features award of special coupons to those visiting the
filling station between January 24 and 26 for a lucky
draw to be held on Republic Day. The winners in both
four-wheeler and two-wheelers category will get free
refuelling for one year while those getting and second
prizes will get free petrol for six months and three
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